iMentor’s Anniversary Gala
More than 700 young people and their mentors gathered at Cipriani’s in New York City June 3 to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of iMentor, a nonprofit organization that links young, underserved students with mentors from the professional world.
More than 5,000 youngsters have benefitted thus far from the program, which uses a technology-based approach to youth mentoring and education.
To celebrate its anniversary, and launch its first fund-raising event, iMentor enlisted the services of Cheryl Gentry from Glow Media, a public relations and event management agency with offices in New York and Los Angeles. The result was a gala celebration that raised more than $3.8 million for the organization and highlighted the many successful relationships nourished by iMentor.
Dazzling Venue and Décor
The gala was held at Cipriani 42nd Street, in the heart of Manhattan. This Italian Renaissance-inspired showcase boasts towering marble columns, soaring ceilings, inlaid floors and spectacular chandeliers. Gentry dressed up the space with a silver and orange motif anchored by a 17-foot high tree with orange blossoms, symbolizing not only the growth of the iMentor organization, but also the personal growth many mentors and mentees have experienced as a result of the program.
Images of mentor/mentee pairs were projected onto screens flanking the stage area, highlighting the importance of celebrating these relationships.
The 17-foot high tree provided the “wow factor” as guests entered the event. Kiriba Logan from Atlas Floral affixed each orange blossom to the natural tree branches on-site.
The guest list included sponsors, donors, mentors and mentees, members of the hedge fund community, where iMentor founder and co-chair John Griffin got his start, and a host of celebrity names including Martha Stewart, Newark Mayor Corey Booker, Travel Channel/Cleveland Brown’s Dhani Jones and CBS’ Maurice DuBois.
Entertainment was A-List as well with recording artist and record producer Wyclef Jean performing for the group. “The final thrill of the evening was when Wyclef invited the mentees to join him on the stage for the final song,” Gentry said.
Event Management and Design - Glow Media www.glowmediany.com
Catering/F&B - Cipriani www.cipriani.com
Staging and Lighting - Star Group Productions www.stargrouppro.com
Florist/Décor - Kiriba Logan, Atlas Floral Decorators www.atlasfloral.com
Video Production - B Productions www.bproductions.com
Graffiti Wall - Lumacoustics www.yrwall.com
To promote communication and the arts, as well as to provide a fun element, Gentry brought in a an interactive digital graffiti wall from London-based Lumacoustic Ltd. This is the first time this wall has been used in the U.S. The guests spray “graffiti” onto the wall with “paint cans” of infra red light that is tracked by a computer vision system. The system then prints out a hard copy of the artist’s creation.